Our leadership is comprised of Muslims chaplains who provide guidance as well as promote Ziyara’s mission and vision, national and international.

Board of Directors (Alphabetical Order): 

  • Samsiah Abdul-Majid, Chaplain – Westchester County, New York
  • Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, Relief Chaplain – Stanford Hospital
  • Sakinah Alhabshi, Chaplain Resident, Stanford Hospital
  • Sondos Kholaki, Chaplain – Hoag Hospital
  • Taqwa Surapati, Cancer Chaplain – Stanford Hospital

Samiah Abdul-Majid, BCC 
Samsiah is a board-certified chaplain in palliative care. Her clinical pastoral education was at the Westchester Medical Center, NY, and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. She is a former United Nations official, and has served as the secretary of the Association of Muslim Chaplains (AMC) and is a co-investigator in an AMC-Boston University Medical School pioneering study to map Muslim chaplains in the US.

MA, Islamic Studies and Christian Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary
Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy, Hartford Seminary
Board Certification,  Association of Professional Chaplains (APC-BCCI)
Clinical Pastoral Education,  Westchester Medical Center, NY & Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh: (Co-Chair) 
Kamal is the director of the Interreligious Chaplaincy Program at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. He completed chaplaincy 4 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and residency at Stanford Hospital & Clinics and CPE of Central CA. He is the founder of Ziyara, and leads local, national, and international seminars to train spiritual care providers in various Muslim countries. For more information, email shamsieh@Ziyara.org or call (559) 244-9360.


Ph.D., Practical Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley
MA, Islamic Studies / Christian – Muslim Relations, Hartford Seminary
Graduate Certificate, Islamic Chaplaincy, Hartford Seminary
Clinical Pastoral Education, Stanford Hospital & CPE of Central California
Certificate, Essentials Palliative Care Chaplaincy, Institute for Palliative Care
Ecclesiastical EndorsementIslamic Society of North America

Sakinah Alhabshi (Ziyara Coordinator – Malaysia)

Sakinah was born and raised in Malaysia. She spent ten years in the oil & gas industry, with experience in project management, international relations, communication, and corporate social responsibility. Since then, she has ventured into the education and health field – currently serving her community through coaching, counseling, as well as volunteering in hospices and disaster relief missions.


MA student, Islamic Studies, Graduate Theological Union
CPE Residency, Stanford Hospital, CA, USA
Advanced Diploma in Islamic Studies, Arees University, Malaysia
Certificate in Leadership, GE Oil & Gas University, Florence, Italy
B.S. Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, IL, USA

Chaplain Sondos Kholaki (Co-Chair)
Sondos works at Hoag Hospital as the program’s first Muslim chaplain taking care of patients of all faiths but focusing on Muslim patient care. She currently serves at Hoag Irvine as a staff chaplain and as an educator on Muslim spiritual care matters. Sondos previously served as President of the Board of Directors at the Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI).


Master of Divinity Student, Islamic Chaplaincy at the Claremont School of Theology/Bayan Claremont
Regents Scholar, UCLA – Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing
Clinical Pastoral Education (5 Units), Hoag Hospital

Taqwa Surapati (Treasurer)
Taqwa works as Cancer Care Chaplain at Stanford Hospital. For a decade, Taqwa served as a Spiritual Care volunteer at Stanford and other local hospitals in the San Jose area. Her interests include oncology chaplaincy, how people of different faiths view end-of-life situations, and advance health care planning. Taqwa came to the US in 1998 from Jakarta, Indonesia where she and her family established a home in the Bay Area.


Graduate Certificate in Islamic Chaplaincy – Hartford Seminary
MA Student, Islamic Studies, Graduate Theological Union
Clinical Pastoral Education (4 Units), Stanford Hospital